Resources
Articles | Insight

Personal development is about survival in our modern competitive workplaces

The education you gained in college and the skills you gathered over the years will only take you until a certain step of success. There comes a time when professional abilities take a backseat, and other things such as your personality or your soft skills take over. At a level when everyone is of the same calibre, it is these so-called extras that make you shine, get more opportunities, and grow.

Let us illustrate with an example. Gaurav and Rajan have both been team leaders for 2 years. Now, it is time to consider promotions. While both have similar skill sets and success rates, Gaurav is by far the more popular of the two – he led his team very competently and kept them motivated, was always positive about the tasks assigned to him, and, in general, approached work with determination and interest. He was also extremely good with clients and was well regarded by them. Rajan was also competent but clearly didn’t have the communication skills and the effervescent aura that Gaurav radiated.

It's pretty clear who became more successful in the long run! People want to work with and work for people who make them feel good – people who radiate positivity, are fair and know their jobs. It is as simple as that!  

How do you become more like Gaurav? Many of these difficult-to-define abilities can be honed with training programmes that fall under the heading of personal development.

Personal Development, broadly speaking, is the process of improving yourself – understanding and expanding your strengths, discovering your weaknesses and improving them, changing your approach and mindset. It is about creating a new vision of yourself and making the changes to achieve it.

How does personal development help in your career?

Before you launch into personal development, you need to map out your needs. Unlike other training or learning programmes, which have a set system of teachings and exercises, personal development can be harder to pin down or define. You need to start with identifying your needs – for this, we recommend starting with self-awareness learning programmes. You must identify areas in your personal and professional lives that you would like to change and try to envision your goal. With this in hand, you can –with the help of a professional instructor- breakdown your broader vision into smaller goals, which can be tackled with training.

Here are some examples -

A resilient and growth-focused mindset

We put this first because it is something that helps everyone, at every level, and every stage of their lives. The current, fast-moving corporate culture doesn't offer the stability it did a decade ago. You have to be ready to face changing situations head-on. Whether a vital deal goes south or you get pink-slipped, or the economy tanks – a resilient forward-looking mindset will ensure you get up and work to solve yours or your organization’s problems.

To make your mindset more robust -

  • Learn to manage stress
  • Understand yourself – practice mindfulness, keep in touch with your inner monologue
  • Understand your negative thought processes and triggers and practice turning them into positive ones
  • Try to maintain perspective
  • Set goals and create a vision for yourself to keep you centered

EQ - Emotional Intelligence

No one works in isolation. A large part of our success lies in our professional relationships and how we deal with everyone around us. Whether you are a fresher or a CEO, at every step of the corporate ladder, you must work with others. Whether you lead them or follow them, working well with people, managing conflicts and office politics, and dealing with a diverse set of backgrounds and cultures is part of every job.

To increase your EQ -

  • Invest in developing your communication skills
  • Learn to listen actively
  • Pay attention to people and their actions around you
  • Learn to control your body language and read the nonverbal cues of others around you
  • Be open to feedback
  • Ask yourself why all the time – understand the motives of your actions and reactions

Self-Confidence

Building self-confidence has a definite effect on your career goals. From helping you do your job with clarity to negotiating a raise to leading teams with conviction – confidence in your abilities and vision enables you to jump over the usual work-related hurdles with ease. 

To cut through the crowded corporate field, you need to have complete confidence in your abilities. Only with this clarity will you be able to showcase your talents and cement your place at the top.

To become more self-confident –

  • Bring in self-affirmation to amplify your strengths
  • Set yourself challenges
  • Embrace self-doubt – question yourself
  • Stop comparing yourself to others
  • Take care of your physical self
  • Pretend to be confident – fake it till you make it

Personal Development is hard to quantify; more than a specific form of learning; it is a behavioural change. But just because it is so difficult to define doesn't mean that the changes are hard to identify. If you invest in making yourself into a better version of yourself, then you WILL see an impact in your career.

Are you ready to invest in yourself? Are you prepared to commit to improving yourself and expanding your horizons? If yes, then do get in touch with us. At Soaring Eagles, we offer CBT (cognitive behavioural theory) backed programs that bring lasting and positive changes to careers and lives.

Resources
Articles | Self-awareness

Unlocking Mental Blocks To Achieve Excellence and Happiness

Every time you read or hear about a successful person, one common theme always emerges – they have somehow learnt to control and leverage their subconscious mind. This control unlocks a fount of positivity, efficiency, creativity, and motivation for them and drives their achievements higher and higher.

Can we all do it?

Yes, but it takes time, effort, and practice. Our subconscious mind controls so much of our lives, yet we have very little control over it. It has been famously likened to a wild monkey that runs unchecked all over, but once given the right stimuli or direction can use its raw energy to help us succeed.

Unfortunately for us humans, our subconscious mind leans more towards negativity. One of the ways this is manifested is with mental blocks that develop over time. A mental block is a deeply held belief, which is created through personal experiences and influences how we approach certain situations. For example, many people feel they are going to fail, as they are not good enough. This thought starts them off on a negative note, making success slightly more difficult. So in case the person then actually fails, it would reinforce his/her mental block. And the never-ending cycle of negativity would continue.

At best, living with mental blocks can stop you from living life to the fullest, and at worst, it can dominate your life and hinder you professionally and in your relationships.

How can we break down our mental blocks?

The first step is to identify our irrational beliefs; by being aware of our blocks, we can change our approach towards life in general. This understanding also helps us to determine what and in which direction we need to improve.

The best way to identify mental blocks is to listen to your inner thoughts. Every time your mind starts drifting from work or towards a certain conflict, you need to consciously listen to the monologue in your mind to find what you are thinking about. Over time a pattern could emerge that would point you in the right direction.

At SoaringEagles, we carry out detailed self-awareness exercises that can uncover core values or personality traits that could point you towards your mental blocks. You can also do simple activities such as asking yourself a series of questions about your feelings or actions. Why am I feeling like this? Why did I behave like this? What do I want from this particular action? And so on. You can scan your list of core belief systems, values, and motivational drivers and look for conflicts. For example, you might have a highly extroverted and friendly nature but are in a job that requires secrecy, or you could be highly ambitious professionally, but at the same time are an introvert who finds it difficult to network or play politics. These personality-value-belief misalignments often result in mental blocks.

Once you have identified some distinct mental blocks, it is time to find out more about them. With an understanding of what they are – fear, anxiety, anger or insecurity, lack of interest, or an inability to concentrate – you can catch yourself when they surface. It’s time to find the source of these problems and to bring them to light. Ask yourself again and again why you feel a certain way or when it all started? Write down exact thoughts that pass through your mind when these blocks come up. Some that appear unreasonable will start disappearing once brought to attention, and only the core problems will remain.

To counter their effect in your life, you need to face them head-on. Here are some tried and tested ways to remove or at the very least limit the influence of the blocks 

– When you start sliding down a familiar path, and an oft-repeated monologue begins in your head, cut it short right there.

– Another useful trick is to turn your negative mental block into positive action. For example, if you find yourself doubting your abilities, then take a break and call a loved one or chat with a friend. Develop coping mechanisms that help you negate the effects of your block.

– If you see that certain blocks are triggered by a situation, then keep an eye on the situation and take action before it goes out of hand completely. For example, if overloading your daily to-do list leaves you feeling anxious and reduces your productivity, then schedule breaks to reset your anxiety levels and keep up your morale.

The Bottom Line

Every single one of us has mental blocks that are hard-wired into our minds. Built over time and reinforced by repeated experiences, they are almost like muscle memory. They become your default way of reacting and acting. Changing or eliminating these blocks can transform your whole life! In this journey of transformation, understanding yourself and identifying your mental blocks is the first and the most crucial step. This tiny bit of introspection can lead to some giant changes.

At Soaring Eagles, all our coaching and training programs start with a detailed module on self-awareness. Understanding yourself and your subconscious blocks are the strongest foundation for long-lasting change. If what we discussed here strikes a chord, then don’t hesitate to pick up the phone. We would be happy to help!

Resources
Articles | Self-awareness

Being Self-aware Makes You Confident

Have you ever felt completely at odds with your job or your organization?

Have you felt unsure of your abilities and place in the office? Maybe your personality, values, or likes and dislikes don't really fit with what your job demands? However, most of us are not able to articulate what the problem is or even that there is a problem!

That is because

a) most of us expect to be uncomfortable at work (after all, why would someone pay you if it was easy!) and

b) we don’t really have a clear enough understanding of ourselves to pinpoint the misalignment or put the finger on the root cause of our discomfort.

What is self-awareness?

Simply defined, it means having a deep understanding of your inner norms, drivers, motivations, beliefs, and preferences, or intuitions. You understand what is happening in your mind in each situation. You can analyze, monitor, or control your reaction to situations and external stimuli.

Ultimately, being more self-aware will give you the ability to express yourself in the best possible manner during any situation. You will act consciously, instead of reacting uncontrollably.

It will also help you make the most of your abilities. When you know who you are, you will use that knowledge to place yourself in situations that align with your innermost being and remove yourself from circumstances that don’t.

At Soaring Eagles, we firmly believe that EVERY single change (no matter how small or insignificant) must be authored by you yourself! And that is only possible when you know who you are to start with. Only when you know your starting point can you then fix a goal for transformation.

Can being self-aware help you grab the right opportunities and steer your career in the right direction?

Clarity

Imagine knowing exactly what type of work, professional environment, or process suits your personality! All that time spent bouncing from one unsatisfactory job to another can be completely cut down. With an awareness of your nature, beliefs, and key drivers, you can tailor your job search – and your entire career – to maximize your core strengths.

Confidence

Knowing your self allows you to bring a heightened sense of confidence to your career. It will enable you to make career choices with complete confidence. No more second-guessing your abilities or your interest in a particular area; being self-aware will help you analyse your professional options and make decisions based on knowledge rather than gut feel.

Emotional Intelligence

Self-awareness leads to developing emotional intelligence. When you have the ability to be in touch with your emotions, it will automatically make you more aware of and empathetic towards the feelings of others. This amplified EQ will help you achieve success in all phases of your career – from your first internship to your last leadership role.

Longevity

When you work at what you like, or in an atmosphere that aligns with your core beliefs  - you are already on the way to long-term success. Understanding yourself allows you to find work that you enjoy and are good at – this, in turn, ensures you do well at it! 

It’s clear ...

That you could land a job that is the envy of your peers or get nominated for a role that puts you in the big league, but if it doesn’t match your core temperament or your belief system then you will not be able to sustain yourself in it in the long-run and more importantly, you will not be happy in it.

Are you looking to jumpstart your plateauing career? Or maybe you are looking to bring some clarity into your career plans? Then do consider one of SoaringEagles’ training sessions. We have several that focus on building skills useful for different stages of your career. Do call us to find out what fits your needs.

Resources
Articles | Insight

3 Major Stress Drivers At Work And Tips On How To Manage Them

That sinking feeling in your stomach; that unwillingness to get out of bed; dragging yourself at work; increased heartbeat, sleepless nights, sweaty palms, hair turning grey, and stomach problems – this is all STRESS!

Sadly we don’t know anyone who hasn’t suffered from it all! In fact, it would be safe to say that stress is on the rise, especially in workplaces. We can blame it on the faster pace of work and life or more competition or the corporate rat race or even our personal relationships – whatever may the reasons be, the bottom line is that STRESS seems to be GROWING!

Here in this article, we will focus on some of the main stress-inducing situations in an office scenario AND some tips to help you reduce it (or at the very least manage it better) –

Interpersonal Conflict

One of the most significant sources of stress is the BOSS (a US-based study reported that over a third of surveyed workers cited their boss as the primary source of their work-related stress). As your boss or senior management has the most control or say in what you do at work, how well you are treated, and your long-term career prospects, it is not surprising that difficult bosses can become a major source of worry.

Apart from team leads and HoDs, conflict with colleagues can also lead to a toxic work atmosphere, which will undoubtedly increase the stress in your daily work life.

What can you do?

First off, keeping quite and bottling it all up is NOT going to help. The stress will only keep increasing, and it is better to be upfront about your problems when they are small and manageable rather than when they get out of hand.

If your boss is inadvertently causing stress but is intrinsically a nice, reasonable person, then it might be useful to sit down and have a simple chat. It would also be helpful to chat about your problems with some close colleagues and enlist their help when things start getting stressful – for example, with late-night shifts or deadlines. It might seem a bit aggressive, but setting some boundaries can be helpful in the long run – for example, if you have to get back home at a certain time, but long meetings or last-minute work always creates difficulties, then talking about your time constraints openly is best. Try to find a flexible way to manage work such as coming in early, taking on a different role, or working from home. 

If, on the other hand, your boss's personality is difficult to deal with, then there isn't much you can do to change him/her or your situation. The short term solution is to learn to deal with moods, predict personality traits, and keep yourself calm. In the long-run, moving to another department or a different company altogether is the only permanent solution.

Unrealistic work expectations

Too much work, impossible deadlines, long work hours, and working with too few resources or staff are all unreasonable situations at work that induce stress.

While you might be able to manage working beyond your capacity or abilities for a while, it is bound to create a problematic situation when it becomes a long term expectation.

What can you do?

Setting expectations and time limits are the only ways ahead. Every job has situations where you will be asked to extend yourself to do more – peak season in retail or a new project or client with a tight deadline. All employees understand this and are generally OK with it too. The problem only starts when you go from one stressful project to another and from one deadline to another; when the team size remains small, but the workload keeps increasing. In these situations, you have to speak to the senior management and present your problem along with solutions. 

Work-life imbalance

In the current work culture where working long hours is a badge of indispensability and almost a status symbol signaling one's importance in a company, personal life usually suffers. This competition to work extra-long starts when most people are young and can sustain this lifestyle, but when families come into the picture, it becomes challenging to maintain a balance.

What can one do?

First and foremost, get a sound support system in place to manage whatever home related work you can outsource. Spend extra to get better and more reliable help. With external help in place, set your limits. This could be how many days a month you will travel or sacrosanct family times such as weekends or late evenings.

Career-wise you might have to re-evaluate how you can cut down or accommodate your family's needs with your work schedule. Ultimately every person must decide their priorities themselves. But it's important to sit down and plan what you want to do, what are your life's must-haves, and what you are willing to let go off. Once you have that clearly defined, the next step is to go about finding the smoothest path to achieve the best work-life balance.

The Bottom Line

Stress will always be there! Whether you are the CEO or the new intern – everyone has some problems they are dealing with and some tensions they are living under. No one is exempt, but some do manage to seem less stressed and happier. This is only because they have the mindset and the drive to change their situations. Stress is a symptom of loss of control; when you feel that you can’t change a bad situation and are stuck in it. Always know that YOU have the reins of your life; YOU are in the driver's seat, and the choice to change is YOURS.

Approach your problems with a positive attitude and look for solutions – they will seem less stressful.

If things seem overwhelming and you need to reduce stress immediately, then learning ways to de-stress from a professionally trained coach is the best way forward. Request a complimentary consultation by clicking the button above.

Resources
Articles | Self-awareness

How To Craft The Perfect Personal Branding Message

“I have been hearing and reading a lot about the importance of building my personal brand .. it all seems to be tied with using LinkedIn and blogging and networking at events. Which is why I started writing posts a few months ago, but it all sort of fizzled out.”

“I want to blog, but am not sure how to go about it AND what if I do it all wrong and everyone makes fun of me! Also, I really don't have the time! ”

“I think personal branding is for celebrities or C suite managers who can hire professionals. My career is doing fine as it is, what can I really gain from it?”

These are the TOP THREE reasons we hear from professionals about why they are not trying to establish their personal brand.

These are all valid thoughts and reasons. But they can all be easily taken care of!  

You don’t need a lot of time to stay active on LinkedIn; you can get professional help to get your blogs up and running; you can hire a ghost-writer to pen down your insights in a palatable form, AND personal branding is not just a fancy trend – it will pay rich dividends in all aspects of your career.

It is all eminently doable, and there is professional guidance available to get you started. BUT there is one critical bit that YOU have to do yourself – decide on what your brand stands for!

You have to fix your message and before you do anything else. You have to decide how you want to present yourself. For this, deep introspection and critical feedback are needed. Here's what you need to do to get this right. 

Find your strengths

The best place to start is to identify what you are good at.

For this look at your best projects, your most commended team role or job, ask yourself what is the one thing that you do better than anyone else in your team? Are you the go-to person for a certain job?

Along with strengths, you must also identify your weaknesses or problem areas. With all this information, create a top-5 list. Now its time to get some outside perspective on your list, we recommend you ask some close friends and colleagues about your top 5 strengths and include their feedback to distill your list.

Passions

Another great way to find out what makes you tick is to examine your passions. We all have some huge interests that ignite us – they might lie dormant under work and life pressures, but when unwrapped they give us immense pleasure.

Let your subconscious take over; think about what you genuinely enjoy doing. What would you do if money was not at stake? What type of people or activities do you like to engage with? What topics are you most knowledgeable about, and what are you always reading or searching for online?

Answering these questions will undoubtedly bring you clarity on what you enjoy. Dig a bit deeper to find out WHY you like doing these things. Look for the underlying common denominator that might pop up and jot down what comes up in your master list.

Values

We are driven to make choices according to our values and belief systems. They have a profound impact on our behaviour and actions. Your brand message must be aligned with your values. Hence, it is essential to define your value system clearly. 

Think of situations at work and at home that makes you angry or sad or satisfied. Identify what triggered these feelings. What are some things you would never do, no matter how much money or recognition you were offered? Thinking of what your NO-GO zones are would help you narrow down your deeply held values.

Add 5 to your list.

Purpose

Find out how your career connects to your life beyond the office. Why are you doing this job? What do you hope to achieve from it? Apart from work, what do you see as the larger purpose of your existence?

Identify your dreams and hopes, and you will be able to narrow down your life goals. Add some points by writing out sentences such as “I am...” “I have...” “I enjoy...” “I will...”

Bring it all together

Use the information you have gathered above to distill your message. Craft an elevator pitch that showcases your strengths, and talks about your values. Make sure that you are guided by your purpose and passion in pursuing the larger personal branding exercise. Your message should align with your interests and propel you towards achieving your purpose.

The key is authenticity.  Your personal brand is all about projecting who you are, not about manufacturing a false narrative of what might be most useful for a job search. Remember, your brand will outlive your current or even your next job.

Treat your personal brand message like your calling card. It’s about bringing who you are to what you do and how you do it. Communicating this clearly and consistently will build your reputation and leave an impression on all who encounter you across the virtual or physical world.

There is absolutely no doubt that everyone in the corporate world must start working on building their personal brand. If you are unsure about how to go about it, then don’t let that stop you. Join our personal branding training to create a clear roadmap and start today.

Resources
Articles | Self-awareness

How Interview Skills Learnt At Soaring Eagles Help In Real-World Situations

From the first internship to the last C-suite position, every milestone of your professional journey will begin with an interview. And whether the interview takes the form of a standard grilling by an HR executive or an informal chat with the CEO – it all boils down to how you position yourself as THE ideal candidate for that particular job. It is all about marketing yourself effectively. 

At Soaring Eagles, we conduct Interview Skills Training as standalone workshops and also as a critical part of our professional career guidance training programs. Typically, an interview skills training at SoaringEagles comprises –

1. Tips and tricks to present yourself with confidence and make the right impression

The interview starts before even one word is uttered, and many of the decisions at the end of the process are based on the personality and behaviour of the person rather than their qualifications.

We share several time-tested tips that help in making candidates understand basics like - How to greet recruiters, present themselves at their best, how to overcome nervousness and appear relaxed and confident, as well as physical behaviour such as how to shake hands, how to sit, how to move, where to look, and more.

2. Fine-tuning physical appearance and body language

Apart from the psychological and professional strategies, the Soaring Eagles workshop also teaches candidates the finer points of getting their physical appearance and body language on-point.

Whether subconsciously or overtly, what they wear, how they carry themselves, and their non-verbal behaviour leaves an impact. We give participants the insider’s perspective on what works and what should certainly be avoided.  

3. Information on various types of interviewing styles

We acquaint our participants with the details of different interviewing styles, such as case-based, strengths-based, or behavioral-based interviewing methodology. They are then encouraged to use this information to tailor their interactions and put their best foot forward.

With our training, participants will be able to identify the purpose of an interview, use the psychological techniques we teach to leave the best impression, and understand the motives of the interviewer (what they are looking for and what they are trying to avoid).

We also teach them how to structure their conversation, how to show they are interested in the job, make themselves agreeable, and more.

4. Best practices for phone and Skype interviews

Face-to-face conversations flow quite differently from the ones on the phone or video calls. As more and more interviews happen remotely, it is important to be prepared for this situation. We share some applicable tips on how to create a fantastic impression on calls or video chats.

5. Mock interviews

All your learnings culminate in a series of mock interviews that give you a chance to put to practice all the tips and strategies we explained before. We cover critical bits such as introductions, and how to prepare and answer stock questions such as - tell me about yourself? We also cover the best methods to deal with difficult questions or recruiters, improve listening skills, and handle sticky conversations such as salary. Another critical part we cover is how to leave an interview with a good impression, how to follow up, and more.

So many of us dream of landing that perfect job, but when we eventually get a foot in the door, we sometimes lose out – not because we are not capable, but because we are not able to show our capabilities in the right manner.

The unfortunate part is that showcasing abilities can easily be learnt. There are several simple ways to prepare for interviews that can drastically increase your chances of winning through. So much so that it can all be learnt in one day!

Imagine increasing your interview success rate to 80% (FOREVER) by investing one day in learning interview skills! Who wouldn’t want to do that!

Do you want to know more about what you will learn and how it can help you? Call us or email us to find out the details.